Youth – Talk to Me Positively so that I can Understand You

by Felipe Claro (President of AIPPI)

AIPPI recently received communication from Stephanie Rowland, of the EUIPO Observatory, informing that from June 15 to June 17, 60 young people from across the European Union met at the EUIPO premises in Alicante to discuss and develop inspiring and creative ways to communicate the importance of intellectual property and garnering its respect by youth in Europe.

According to the press release, Youth Association representatives, artists, entrepreneurs, bloggers, gamers, and students were among those invited. In an enthusiastic and open atmosphere, they passionately debated as they fully immersed themselves in intense workshop activities. EUIPO wants to target European youth in order to encourage a more effective communication with the younger generations. The underlying idea is to protect intellectual property and discourage counterfeiting by raising awareness among primary and middle school children of the negative economic and societal consequences of buying and selling counterfeit goods.

In a recent conversation about this subject with a student from Miami, she expressed concern about highlighting the negative consequences of counterfeiting and piracy among young people rather than encouraging the positive and enhanced experience the children would have by using legal products. According to her, IP awareness activities should encourage moral fortitude in the youth by encouraging them to do the right thing for their communities, countries and themselves. She also said that massive games like Pokemon Go could be conveniently used to spread the IP protection message in a friendly and ludic way. Interestingly, she said that part of the problem is that young people associate IP with huge corporations and not flesh-and-blood people. For them, it is very important to see actual people concerned with their rights and to understand why IP rights are important from a positive personal perspective and not only from a monetary corporate view.

AIPPI is committed to doing more in helping to create IP awareness among young people. Special attention should be given to those countries where economies are weak, as a way to support local creativity and to encourage local commerce.

If you have suggestions or want to share with AIPPI the youth IP awareness activities conducted in your jurisdiction, please write to [email protected].